Risks of TBI Higher for Energy Drinkers?

Human Brain Handcuffed

human brain with arms, legs and handcuffs on hands

Things you think you take for your benefit can sometimes turn out to be things that are not so great for your health. It is not easy to accept the facts when you have become used to eating or drinking something. Who would have thought that energy drinks would be connected to traumatic brain injuries in people? The recent study has come off as a huge shock for drinkers of energy drinks and companies that make them. However, the case is not that serious right now since the connection seems very weak and indirect.

The likelihood of having energy drinks in people with traumatic brain injuries was reported to be much higher as compared to the likelihood of energy drinks in people who did not have brain injury. It was reported to be 7 times higher in people with traumatic brain injury, which is quite a big number. The study was conducted on teenagers and it was found out that teens with brain injury had had at least 5 energy drinks in a span of just one week. This particular study got published in the famous journal that goes by the name of PLOS One.

The basic study that was taken into consideration to come up with these findings was actually conducted in 2013. In that particular study there were a little more than 10,000 students that became part of the study. The students that participated in the study in 2013 were from grades 7 to 12. The likelihood of having energy drinks in teens that had received a traumatic brain injury in the past year was two times higher. Furthermore, it was observed that these teens did not take only energy drinks but had resorted to a mixture of energy drink with alcohol.

The same study was conducted for students that were involved in some sort of sport. These students showed a double figure on the likelihood of having energy drinks in the past year. Their double figures were in comparison to other students who had also received traumatic brain injuries but because of scuffles, fights and other accidents. Gabriela Ilie works at St. Michael’s Hospital and take care of the division of Neurosurgery and Injury Prevention Research Office, and is the author of this study. She stated that sports came out as the common factor when the study took traumatic brain injuries and energy drinks into consideration.

Gabriela pointed out an important point referring to the marketing campaigns that are often conducted by the makers of the energy drinks. She thinks that these campaigns are often associated with sports and they are often sponsoring sports events as well. What this means is that energy drinks attract teens to play sports and their association with sports makes teens drink more. Gabriela pointed out that the use of energy drinks and alcohol in teens is not a matter that should be taken for granted. She even talked about a research that showed that drinking coffee could easily prohibit people from realizing the effects of their alcohol use.

She also pointed out that fact that teens taking energy drinks as a mixture with alcohol are causing a huge damage to their health. The effects of energy drinks might not be big on their bodies but when they combine energy drink with alcohol, the effects are formidable to their brains. She even said that the effects of combining alcohol with energy drinks are not just physical but also emotional in nature. Gabriela also brought our attention to the fact that the brains of people are still in the development stage between 20 and 30 years of age.

Gabriela clarified that it is still not that easy to clearly say that there is a connection between traumatic brain injuries and energy drinks. She said that in order to have a strong conclusion on the matter, we need to perform more experiments and studies on the effects of energy drinks on the brain since the information available right now is very small. According to the recent studies conducted by the most reliable sources, 50% of the teens prefer to go for an energy drink instead of having a cola or soda drink.

The trend of having energy drinks in the young generation is quite high in the US and this is why it is expected that the energy drink industry is going to have a huge boost in the coming times. According to an estimate, within 5 years the energy drink making companies will be making roughly $27 billion every year. By the end of 5 years the market of energy drinks would have grown by 11% easily. However, this was only one side of the story. On the other side we have people representing beverage industry. One group, called the American Beverage Association, has commented on the issue.

The officials from the association have said that it would be against the facts to say that there is any connection between traumatic brain surgeries and the energy drinks. They also said that there is no indication within the study conducted that there are any harmful effects of the energy drinks per se. During the comments they also quoted the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) by saying that this authority has conducted the necessary checkups on the energy drinks and declared these drinks fully safe. They even said that their drinks contain much less caffeine than there is in a cup of coffee that people drink usually.

The officials from the association also said that beverage companies take all the measures they can to ensure that their ingredients and drinks meet the standards set by the federal bodies. On the other hand, Gabriela is of the view that the effects, positive and negative both, are not fully known about energy drinks. While it won’t be right to say that these drinks cause any bad effects on people’s health, it is equally the responsibility of the companies to not associate these drinks particularly with sports.

My Cousin Vinny: A Realistic Legal Perspective

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The Griffin logo of Ehline Law Firm PC Los Angeles.

In both law school, and at the Inns of Court, I personally saw this movie used as an illustration of both proper and  improper procedural and substantive issues. Believe it or not, in some instances, Joe Pesci may know more about the legal system than many attorneys. The 1992 comedy film includes a lot more legal minds and concepts than a mere city, small town attorneys, witnesses and victims in the Deep South.

The Realities of American Courts and My Cousin Vinny

Miraculously, there are many aspects demonstrated in the movie showing us all how the legal system works in many American towns, especially when dealing with criminal law. This is fitting, as Pesci an older, newly minted attorney in another jurisdiction is clueless, and not even a criminal attorney by practice. But family is family and Pesci is the champion. In what the appears to be a “kangaroo court” in a Southern town that doesn’t like carpetbaggers Pesci is brought in as a last ditch effort by his cousin and friend to help them escape a false murder charge.

The Legal Secretary Wins the Day

Pesci’s fish out of water routine holds a lot of water. Faced with a hostile court and jury, he is forced to improvise with very limited materials. He is isolated from his office and much data in Alabama and has to lean heavily on his girlfriend Mona Lisa Vito, played by Marissa Tomei. And she is best supporting actress here, as any legal secretary with skills would be in a case like this one presented.

The Girlfriend/Legal Secretary Skill Set is Probably More True than Not

Now, when I say girlfriend/legal secretary, I am not necessarily implying that legal secretaries are always females, or that all of them are in office romances with lawyers. What I will say is that I married my legal secretary.

That being said, I have seen legal secretaries fall on the sword time and time again in declarations seeking relief in support of CCP Sec 473 motions. We don’t hear too often of the many triumphs and victories legal assistants pull off, sometimes daily. It was high time, perhaps unintentionally, that we saw how a smart assistant could make any cave man with a bar card appear to be a genius. Pesci’s character, Vincent “Vinny” Gambino has to use a variety of legal actions to prevent his cousin and friend from being convicted by what he sees as a kangaroo court. His legal assistant saves the day on many occasions, propping up the defense.

Judge Herman Munster?

For those of you as old as me to remember Herman Munster, you get the joke, for those who don’t, look it up. Vinny makes several errors during his time in court, including infuriating Judge Haller, played by Fred Gwynne aka “Herman.”

At one point he is held in contempt of court and spends a night in jail. He also has to quickly review criminal law to keep up with the District Attorney’s case against the Defendants.

Despite what seems like an open and shut case against the young men, Vinny is able to use his personality and skills to get the most out of the situation. He is able to effectively cross-examine witnesses to build upon doubts regarding timing and testimony. He famously questions the timing of the shooting by asking about the time it takes to make grits. He is also able to cast aspersions on one eyewitness’s claims due to their bad eyesight.

The ending of the film is quite famous, as Pesci is able to deftly lie to the judge just long enough for the trial to conclude. His girlfriend is able to explain that the tire pattern of a Buick Skylark was similar but not the same as the killer’s vehicle. This key piece of evidence causes the DA’s case to fall apart and frees the Defendants.

My Cousin Vinny goes beyond just being a good comedy film. Despite being on TBS what seems every single week, it is also shown in Prelaw and Law programs across the country. The detail taken to show proper court procedure and cross-examination is second to none. Unlike many serious dramas, this movie both accurately displays and makes easy to understand day to day functions in the courtroom. Next time you’re sitting on the couch with some popcorn and the movie comes on, watch it extra closely this time. You might learn something.

Legal Movies With a Twist | Saul Goodman and Breaking Bad

Run over by a Bentley?

A death can occur just by walking down Rodeo Drive and getting run over by a Rolls or Bentley.

Bob Odenkirk’s character Saul Goodman is now very well known for his role in AMC’s hit shows Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul (Read more here.) His portrayal seems to play into many of the best and worst aspects of what an attorney can be. We’re going to take a closer look at Goodman’s character and other famous television shows and movies and determine how best these fictional attorneys act. By comparing these characters to the real life practice of the law we can determine more about how an attorney can and should act to help their clients.

The Law Practice Itself

Saul Goodman’s practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico looks like a somewhat conventional one:

  • Tucked into a strip mall;
  • It is a simple office space with a waiting room chock full of injury victims.

Goodman is introduced after Jesse Pinkman’s associate, Badger, needed an attorney to assist getting out of a charge of selling methamphetamines.

In the words of Pinkman:

“Sometimes you need a criminal lawyer. Sometimes you need a criminal lawyer.”

A Slimy, Loyal Legal Representative?

Goodman’s character is seem as largely slimy but loyal to his clients. He keeps information in confidence for both Walter and Jesse even when the police and cartels are on their backs. He gives them advice that consistently keeps them out of jail and assists Jesse in hearings with the police.

He also offered both of them the opportunity to get out of New Mexico when it appeared that they could be killed. Goodman also served as Skylar White’s attorney during the divorce process and assists her and Walter in buying the car wash that he used to work at.

Skill and Humor

Goodman’s character was a mix of skill and humor. There were also multiple instances when he had to bluff his way out of issues, all to the tune of thousands of client doctors. He does violate the law many times, and is able to keep the police away from his clients. Jesse’s statement about a criminal lawyer was more accurate than he could have ever known.

  • Lying as a Humorous Art

Now, there are also many negative roles that Goodman takes as well. He constantly changes his commission price and is caught multiple time lying to his clients. He also tampers with evidence and is generally very fearful of cartel violence. At the end, he agrees to flee New Mexico when it appears that things are nearing its end.

Goodman’s character, including his wit and humor appeared to be just about the perfect attorney for Jesse and Walter in the series. Whether or not we would hire the same attorney for a traffic ticket or an injury claim– I’m not as sure. He does seem to win quite a lot for his clients and always makes time– even when he is in hiding. He might not be the type of person I’d hire in regular conditions but if he were an ambulance chaser, he’d be quite a pro, and he sure made AMC’s series successful.

The Hidden and Rising Costs of Truck Accidents

Slipping on loose gravel or wet cement can kill on a bike

Lose control of your bike? Your not alone.

Trucks are a needed part of our modern society. Large trucks, including semis, eighteen wheelers, and others bring the most important resources for the economy to function to the most remote part of the country. This is especially the case with the thousands of miles of roads supporting thirty million Californians. Truck traffic is a constant reality, especially on the many freeways of the state.

As Passenger Car Wrecks Go Down, Big Rig Truck Accidents Go Up?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show a bleak trend. While many of the statistics show fatalities going down across the board, there is a different trend going on involving trucks. As a matter of fact, fatalities including trucks actually increased from 2009 to 2013. Between these years the rate of fatality increased 17 percent. In fact, there were almost four thousand deaths in 2013, including almost six hundred people in the truck cabs.

Actions That Can Help Reduce Bad Wrecks

There are many actions that could be taken in order to reduce the number of fatalities on the road. Even with improvements in safety equipment, these are sometimes ignored by the large trucking companies because these regulations are crushing and make it impossible to turn a profit. In addition, there have been cases of drivers not having CDLs or other necessary training, which is increasing as a whole generation of truckers leave the industry being replaced by greenhorns.

  • Fatalities for Truckers at a Six Year High

These dangers affect both commuters on the road and the truck drivers themselves. Truckinginfo reported recently that fatalities among truckers has reached a six year high. There has also been a push within the industry to increase the number of hours allowed for drivers to undertake– up to as high as 82.

Some leftists who have never owned or operated a business argue that inaction by the federal government to mandate higher safety standards also costs lives. Those who believe in personal responsibility and free markets believe that regulations and compliance costs actually lead to cooking the books, hiring illegal aliens to drive, using the trailer brakes stop the vehicle, tire carving and other things that increase the likelihood of accidents.

Historic Over-regulation Shows More and Not Less Prime Mover Accidents

When the number of truck fatalities should be decreasing, this vital period of historic and massive regulation has seen an increase. This should be completely unacceptable to every person on the road, especially those being asked to drive these big rigs. At the end of the day, we already have negligence laws in place forcing all human beings to act reasonable. Common sense dictates that We the People abide by our social contract and that we deport illegals and others who do not.

In the meantime, consumers must be aware of their surroundings and avoid areas that big trucks frequent. For more information or to speak to an expert in trucking accident, call Ehline Law today. Our attorneys have been second to none in determining the cause of these accidents and attempting to prevent them.

Your Choice is a Personal Injury Attorney has a Cascading Effect

Good, Bad or Ugly?

Nice or not? Big red dice with options.

When you or a loved one is injured in an accident you want and deserve only the finest in medical and legal attention. You wouldn’t leave your care to the worst doctor in your city if you had any say in it, so why do the same when finding an attorney to represent you. The choice of a lawyer can have many cascading effects and be one of the most important decisions in a lifetime after a severe accident.

Is There a Silver Bullet in Discovering a Great Personal Injury Attorney?

When you are looking for the best attorney, there are often telltale signs regarding their efficacy. Often a reputation is built around their own ability to look out for their clients. This can represent itself in many ways, including reviews online regarding former clients’ experiences with such a firm. There is no silver bullet in finding the exact right attorney for your exact situation, but there are often some common factors that can stand out.

  • The Guy on the Bus and Park Bench – Should that Sell Me?

Don’t just go by the faces on the side of a bus or on the back of the phone book. There are many factors to consider when choosing an attorney. Make sure to choose one that is specialized in the field that you are dealing with. A personal injury attorney with a specialization in auto accidents or workplace injuries can be a great place to start.

When reviewing a potential attorney’s website, social media presence, and reviews, you should weigh some factors heavily. These can include:

  • Accessibility and Communication: How well does this firm rank for giving their clients the time needed to handle their case properly. Are they quick and forthcoming, always ready with the information needed just when needed or are they always behind the eight ball and late in their reactions?
  • Keeping Promises: This can be one of the most common praises or complaints for clients. Does the attorney or firm keep their promises? Does the firm have a reputation for promising the world and delivering almost nothing? Have the clients of this firm been satisfied with the expectations managed by their attorney?
  • Their Results in Court: Does their ad match their ability? When looking at their past cases, have they come through for their clients? Is there a list of high-profile victories on their site? In reviews, are there indications of large settlements, especially those that can adequately cover the cost of severe injury or death?

All of these and more should go into your decision of which attorney would be best for you and your family’s future. Ehline Law’s experience is specialized and there’s a reason we rank among the top Southern California attorneys out there. Contact us for more information.

A Specialized Attorney is Needed for Motorcycle Accidents

Hurt or wounded in a motorcycle traffic collision?

Motorcycle Attorney Michael Ehline

A motorcycle accident can lead to life-threatening injuries and trauma. The effects of such an accident can stay with the rider for life, especially if it also caused the injury of a family member or loved one. When trying to pick up the pieces after such a crash, there are many moving parts involved. It is important to choose the doctor and attorney that can best help you put these together again.

A “Motorcycle Accident Specialist” – What is That?

When a patient has a broken bone or head trauma, they often go to the specialist, and with good reason. Going to a physician out of their training and experience can lead to very negative results, especially when dealing with a specific trauma. The concept is very similar when dealing with motorcycle accidents. Making sure that the attorney that you hire is one specialized in motorcycle crashes can be as important as your choice in doctor.


Not All Motorcycle Lawyers are the Same

Not all attorneys are the same. Choosing an attorney with no experience with cycle claims can make a very negative difference. An attorney better suited for real estate or divorce law should not be handling your case. The attorney that closed your mortgage should not be representing such a case in court on your behalf. Instead, attorneys that have successfully handled such cases before, armed with the right knowledge of case precedent and recent statistics can be your best bet.

Below you can find some reasons why specialization is so important.

  • Remembering the Anti-Motorcyclist Bias: While this is not the case in every courtroom across the state of California, many times there is an unconscious or unspoken bias against motorcycle riders. An attorney used to such a stereotype can work effectively to counteract it (Learn more about biased police here.)
  • Specialization with Motorcycle Injuries: Such an attorney is also well apprised of dealing with many common motorcycle crash injuries. These can include road rash, broken and fractured bones, paralysis and lacerations. They can help refer you to the correct doctors and in some cases, front the money need for treatment.

There are many factors to consider when hiring an attorney after a chopper crash. A firm like Ehline Law’s experience can be invaluable in getting your life back together, you back on your feet, and on the open road once again.

The True Cost of Severe Brain Injury

Dementia disease and a loss of brain function and memories

Human brain research and memory loss as symbol of alzheimer’s concept with missing pieces of the puzzle

For many, their biggest fear is a severe head or spinal injury. Either can permanently affect their mobility, personality, and quality of life. For many victims, the changes are permanent and irreversible. Even treatable conditions can take months or years and lead to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills. This is in combination with lost work, severe changes to your family, and tremendous pain and suffering.

There are no winners in such injuries. The severity of brain injuries can take many forms and come with a tremendous number of complications. A Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, caused by an accident is a devastating diagnosis.

When injured in such a manner, it is important to work with your family, doctor, and attorney to determine the exact amount of damage that has been done to you. Common issues, such as the cost of immediate treatment and lost work could be just the tip of the iceberg. In addition, there could be other issues not even considered early in the process.

Brain Injuries are a Complex Problem When Determining the True Costs

Being able to adequately determine the true cost of the injury is complex– a bit of combining actuarial math with medical science. The sheer cost of therapy can reach into the millions. You attorney and doctor can work together to estimate your lifetime cost of such rehabilitation and get it paid in full. You can also fit in the cost of your medications and psychological stress. Many people also lose significant quality of life, including their ability to spend time with their family, consort with their significant other, and general damages.

  • The Many Factors That Need to Be Calculated in Resolving a TBI Claim

There is no pain or problem too small to examine. Each one can cascade with other factors to completely reshape an injury victim’s life and cause them to be unable to successfully lead the life that they did previously or wanted to. They may be confined to a wheelchair or cognitively impaired. No matter what the injury, making sure that you are at the best condition to meet it is necessary.

Ehline Law has handled many similar cases in the past and have seen the sheer effects of such injuries on many of our clients. This is why we have stuck with them through thick and thin to rebuild their lives as much as possible. For more information, including a free, no-pressure consultation, please call or email us today at any time of day or night.

How to Have the Best Chance to Win Your Insurance Claim

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The Griffin logo of Ehline Law Firm PC Los Angeles.

You pay your insurance company bills religiously in case something bad happens. Whether it be your auto, home, health, or life insurance, many consumers simply don’t think about the fact that these corporations may not honor their own policies. Other times insurance companies will simply play games, run your expiration time to arbitrate or sue down, or engage in some other unsavory tactic to screw you under. When this happens, wounded and often incoherent accident victims in particular are often blindsided and not sure about how to proceed. This is where you need guidance from only the best in legal attention.

There are Many Appreciable Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Chances of Getting Paid in Claim

There are several steps that an accident victim can take in order to lessen the chance of being rooked by their own insurance carrier. Hopefully it does not come to conflict, but for many it does. Below are some tips that the victim can take in order to prevent a second tragedy.

  • When in Doubt, Contact an Attorney: This might not always be your first step, but the rule of thumb is to make sure that you have a proficient advocate behind you in order to take on any insurance company shenanigans and protect you every step of the way. Ehline Law’s experience in dealing with nearly every insurance carrier in the state of California can help you when needed.
  • Get it in Writing: It is important that every step of the insurance process is documented. You should get written confirmation for every issue spoken to an adjustor regarding, as well as any potential payouts or changes to your policies. It is not uncommon to have verbal agreements denied by the company– and this denial holding up in court because of a lack of documentation. If your claim is denied, make sure that you get a written reason why from the company.

Keep all of this paperwork properly organized and ready to use in and out of the courtroom. Not only will you help your attorney in the eventuality that you need a lawyer, but it will also help you hire your lawyer and save you much time and stress. This can also help you prepare a coherent case against the company itself in bad faith (Read about insurance bad faith here.) Keep an eye on all details, including your own signature and dates. Organize by subject, date, or both.

When you leave the insurance company forewarned that you have all your ducks in a row, you stand a much better chance of winning any potential case against a recalcitrant insurance company. In addition, your prudence may be able to actually save you a trip to court, as discussed earlier. Many insurance adjustors will back down when they realize they have a prepared and knowledgeable client, especially one represented by an attorney.

For more information, call or email Ehline Law today. Our years of experience handling similar cases can help you in your trying time.

Home-Owners Insurance and Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims that began while a victim is lawfully upon the premises of another, are brought when that individual has been harmed due to another person’s carelessness or recklessness of the property owner, which under personal injury law is considered negligence. When an individual is harmed in the mishap they can be financially devastated by the cost of medical care and lost wages with the amount of time needed for recovery. Filing a personal injury claim to obtain a settlement or jury verdict can help in recovering damages for the expenses of the victim and their family have suffered.

In Most Cases Insurance Pays the Damages Claims

Generally, when personal injury lawsuit or claim it is settled the financial recovery will be paid by the insurance company. In the event that the injuries are extremely severe, there may not be enough money to cover the victim. In other words, the policy holder may not have enough insurance. There are often some instances that the insurance claim against the policy holder’s homeowners insurance covers various types of claims that compensation can be obtained upon. For example, many homeowner’s policies will cover animal or dog bite attacks, slip and falls and other harm resulting in injuries on the premises.


Sometimes Home-Owners Insurance Covers Damages Off Of The Premises

In some states the homeowner policy may even cover driving under the influence accidents connected to the home, such as where the owner negligently permitted someone to drive their vehicle after consuming enough alcohol to become intoxicated. In California, a pedestrian run over in a hit and run case, may even be able to make a claim against his or her own homeowners policy.

  • Special Rules

Homeowner’s policies often include coverage due to special rules that cover children referred to as an attractive nuisance. This legal doctrine means that the home-owners insurance may cover children’s injuries on a property. Even if they trespass, when there are certain parts of the property they may want to play. Unsafe conditions on the property that could pose a hazard to children should be removed.

  • Specific Hazards

There are some types of mishaps that the homeowner’s insurance may not cover and the property owner has a duty to disclose specific kinds of hazards. In some cases accidents such as stairs that would normally be safe, the design and construction is up to standards, if an individual falls down the stairs the insurance company may not payout. Homeowner insurance coverage can be limited to certain amounts for incidences. One of the limits may include house fires where there may be a limited amount for the incident and depending on injuries of individuals this amount must be split between each party.


Consulting a Lawyer Always Helps

When harm is sustained due to the property owner’s negligence, this is considered a personal injury. Consulting a lawyer specializing in this area of personal injury law for the damages suffered they can evaluate the claim and determine what the case may be covered under homeowner’s insurance. In injury cases it may be necessary to bring a lawsuit to have a jury award a settlement, rather than negotiating with the insurance company when they do not offer a fair settlement. Most homeowner insurance claims will be able to be settled through negotiations, rather than going to court.


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Los Angeles, CA 90071

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Why Have Road Fatalities Jumped this Year?

Evening vigil for dead accident victim

Roadside memorial for dead car crash victim

With overall road safety improving over the last generation, it may seem counter-intuitive to have a significant jump in road fatalities this year of 2015. However, if the rate of fatal car accidents continues through the end of December, that is what we are looking at this year. According to federal statistics, the rate of fatal accidents has taken a jump. When looking at these stats and significant cases, we can begin to understand why and how that could occur.

As stated previously the overall trend has been going down. There has been an increase in car safety attempts, including new safety features in cars, the Cash for Clunkers program taking older cars off the road, and differences in design. Altogether, this has been combined with a general decline in annual miles driven annually.

Reasons Why 2015 Appears to Be Turning into the Year of the Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

However, this year appears to be a bit different. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a three percent decline in accident fatalities between 2012 and 2013. This year’s pro rated data are pointing to an increase– and there may be several factors why.

  • Increase of driven miles: Due to the upswing in the economy, more miles are undertaken each year. This includes businesses now traveling the road to get goods and services to consumers. In addition, families are now taking more time on the road, leading to higher numbers of accidents.
  • Increase in distracted driving: The number of electronic devices in cars has increased exponentially over the last decade. This can include cell phones, GPS units, tablets, and others. This, combined with lack of education regarding the use of such devices, especially among young people, can cause many issues on the road.

The NHTSA also reported that:

“the percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014; this was a statistically significant increase.”

This causes thousands of accidents each year, including many fatalities. These factors, coupled with potential changes in driving patterns can help cause the increase in fatalities. Ehline Law has been studying the developing situation and has advice for drivers on how to avoid accidents and fatalities. Keep reading our accident articles for more information.